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17 novembre 2011 4 17 /11 /novembre /2011 13:45
Economic Recession And Helicopters In Afghanistan

 

November 17, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE

 

One side-effect of the world-wide recession is that lots of the idle helicopters have found work in Afghanistan. There, the U.S. has been prodding other NATO nations to provide helicopters for their own troops. But too many of these nations either do not have helicopters to send or don't want send what they have into such a hostile environment. This is sometimes because the helicopters available are old, or not equipped for service in such a hostile environment.

 

The constant pressure from the United States, which has to supply emergency helicopter service when called on, has persuaded NATO allies to lease helicopters. Over the last five years this has led to the leasing several hundred helicopters for use in Afghanistan. Initially, many of them were Russian models from Eastern Europe. These were Cold War surplus machines from firms that had gone into the leasing business in the 1990s for foreign aid and peacekeeping operations. Three years of economic recession has made a lot of helicopters available in the West, and now more of these are headed for Afghanistan.

 

The basic problem, however, remains. European nations either don't have helicopters suitable for service in the hot and high (and dusty, and freezing in the Winter) conditions of Afghanistan, or their helicopter units are not organized and trained for service overseas, or the politicians don't want to send their helicopters abroad. These nations are content to lease helicopters, including crews and support personnel, from civilian firms.

 

Russian firms paved the way here. Russian and Ukrainian companies were already supplying heavy jet transports for NATO forces since the 1990s. These same companies had helicopters available as well. The Russians know their choppers will work in Afghanistan, because of their experience during the 1980s. Many of the same helicopter types are still in service, although with updates. Safety and reliability standards for Russian helicopters have also increased. There are also many non-Russian firms that offer helicopter leasing for "challenging environments" (mainly oil field or mining operations support). But the Russians were cheaper, and are less concerned with getting shot at. In the end, however, the pleas from the NATO troops for more helicopter support could not by the politicians back home and the demand for leased helicopters remained strong.

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 17:25

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111114-afghanistan-deces-d-un-militaire-francais-en-operation-en-kapisa/afghanistan-deces-d-un-militaire-francais-en-operation-en-kapisa/1447821-3-fre-FR/afghanistan-deces-d-un-militaire-francais-en-operation-en-kapisa.jpg

 

14/11/2011 Sources : EMA

 

Le 14 novembre 2011, au cours d’une opération de sécurisation de l’axe Vermont et d’escorte d’un convoi logistique franco-afghan, deux militaires français ont été blessés, dont un grièvement, par des tirs insurgés au cours d’accrochages en Kapisa.

 

Les deux militaires blessés appartenaient au détachement interarmes en charge de sécuriser un tronçon de l’axe en vue du passage du convoi logistique, il s’agissait notamment de vérifier que l’axe n’était pas pollué.

 

L’élément génie du détachement progressait en tête afin de vérifier que l’itinéraire n’était pas piégé.

 

En début de matinée, un élément français a été pris à partie dans la région de Tagab. Un premier militaire a été blessé par un éclat de roquette et immédiatement évacué vers la base militaire de Tagab.

 

En milieu de matinée, un autre élément qui procédait aux opérations de vérification de non pollution d’un carrefour a été atteint par un tir d’arme légère. Grièvement touché, il a été évacué vers Tagab puis vers l’hôpital militaire français à Kaboul avec le premier blessé.

 

Le militaire grièvement blessé est décédé des suites des blessures.

 

L’autre militaire, plus légèrement blessé, a été pris en charge à l’hôpital. Ses jours ne sont pas en danger.

 

Les deux militaires appartiennent au 2e  régiment étranger de génie engagé en Afghanistan depuis début novembre au sein du GTIA Kapisa armé par le battle group Tiger .

 

Il s’agit du 76ème  militaire français mort en Afghanistan depuis 2001.

 

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111114-afghanistan-deces-d-un-militaire-francais-en-operation-en-kapisa/afghanistan-deces-d-un-militaire-francais-en-operation-en-kapisa-2/1447949-3-fre-FR/afghanistan-deces-d-un-militaire-francais-en-operation-en-kapisa-2.jpg

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14 novembre 2011 1 14 /11 /novembre /2011 13:30

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14 November 2011 army-technology.com

 

Germany is likely to reduce its military forces in Afghanistan in 2012, according to a government document.

 

Agence France Presse has reported that the number of troops will be cut from the current 5,350 to 4,900 in February next year, followed by a further 500 soldiers in early 2013.

 

The document also stated that the reduction in troops is due to the "current and forecasted security situation" and the state of Afghan security forces training.

 

Germany is the third biggest force in Afghanistan after the US and UK, and has plans for complete withdrawal in 2014.

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13 novembre 2011 7 13 /11 /novembre /2011 19:55

Afghan-Air-Force.svg.png

 

November 13, 2011: STRATEGY PAGE

 

The Afghan Army Air Force continues to grow. In the last year it has gained a thousand personnel (for a total of 5,000), and 26 aircraft (for a total of 66, mostly Mi-17 transports and Mi-35 gunships helicopters). In addition to the helicopters there are also Russian transports abd Italian transports and some trainers. Eventually, there are to be 8,000 personnel and 145 aircraft, mostly helicopters and transports, plus trainers that can double at light attack aircraft.

 

The current aircraft are not operating at the same tempo as American aircraft, mainly because the Afghans have chronic shortages of maintenance personnel. In a nation with only a 30 percent literacy rate, it's difficult for the military to get technical personnel. Worse yet, those it trains, are often lost to better paying, and safer, civilian firms.

 

There is also a generation gap between the older pilots (average age 46) who were trained by the Russians and speak Russian as a second language. These men are experienced, but they don't get along with the younger, American trained, pilots. These guys are in their 20s and 30s and speak English as a second language. Although less experienced, the younger pilots are more adept with new technology (like night vision goggles) and operating with American aircraft. The older pilots feel underappreciated and left behind. There is friction and morale suffers because of it. The older pilots cannot be fired, because most of them flew for the Northern Alliance, the group that was still fighting the Taliban on September 11, 2001.

 

Nine years ago, as the post-Taliban Afghan government began planning their new armed forces; it was believed that the Afghan air force would probably consist of a few dozen transports and armed trainer aircraft, plus a few dozen transport helicopters (some of them armed). Russia would be a likely donor (or seller, at attractive prices) of the equipment as the Afghans have been using Russian air force equipment for more than 30 years. Eventually, Afghanistan would want jet fighters, but foreign aid donors would resist spending any money on these. Russia could donate some older combat aircraft (currently in storage and wasting away anyway), but even the Afghan government would probably prefer to use the native pilots they have for transports and helicopters, which would be of more use in the next few years.

 

The original plan has been working, more or less. By 2015 the air force is to have a force consisting of over 60 helicopters (Mi-17 transports and Mi-35 gunships), 28 transports (20 G.222s, 6 AN-32s and 2 AN-26s). The remaining aircraft are single engine trainers, some of them used for ground attack. The air force has a pilot training program, which has produced over 400 graduates so far, and some of the men (and a few women) are undergoing training overseas.

 

A major problem is hanging on to trained personnel. There are few suitable people to recruit in the first place. Afghanistan has only a low literacy rate, and anyone who can speak English can make more as an interpreter for the American troops, rather than flying for the Afghan Air Force. Same with maintenance personnel who, even if they don't speak English, can leave the country and get a much better paying job elsewhere with their aircraft maintenance skills. Thus as the Afghan Air Force is being built, it is also in a perpetual state of disintegration.

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12 novembre 2011 6 12 /11 /novembre /2011 08:45

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Photo: US Army

 

Nov 11, 2011 By Amy Butler -aerospace daily and defense report

 

The single largest intelligence gap in the fight against roadside bombs, which are responsible for 90% of allied casualties in Afghanistan, is uncovering how ammonium nitrate fuel makes its way from two legitimate manufacturing facilities in Pakistan across the western border into Afghanistan, says U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Michael Barbero, director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Office (Jieddo) at the Pentagon.

 

Eighty percent of the IEDs in Afghanistan are made using this ammonium nitrate, he says, and the designs are spreading worldwide, making them a near-term threat not only to deployed forces but a strategic problem for civilian centers in the United States and elsewhere. “This is the significant weapon of these conflicts. It is the greatest casualty producer,” Barbero says. “The IED is the artillery of the 21st century.”

 

Six months ago, the general says the U.S. government-wide effort to learn more about this transit process was at a “dead stop.” Since then, however, an interagency effort — including help from the intelligence community — has begun to tackle the issue, and Barbero says the U.S. may be ready to “take action” on what it has learned about the ammonium nitrate network soon. This could include military action as well as economic pressure put forth by other parts of the government.

 

“You can’t solve the IED fight in Afghanistan in Afghanistan,” Barbero told an audience at a Nov. 10 breakfast hosted by the Institute of Land Warfare in Arlington, Va. “What we don’t understand is how this ammonium nitrate gets from the factories and to these insurgents” who “can process this where it is more detonable than TNT” in about 40 min. “If you are just worrying about the devices, you are just playing defense,” he says.

 

The amount of money the U.S. has spent to quickly develop and field technologies to detect and destroy IEDs — totaling billions of dollars — is far disproportionate to the cost of deploying the explosives, which employ the ammonium nitrate contained in plastic palm oil jugs, often a wooden pressure plate and a metal blasting cap.

 

In fiscal 2011, $2.44 billion was allocated for Jieddo and a similar amount is expected in the fiscal 2012 budget. Thus, Barbero says that stemming the flow of ammonium nitrate into Afghanistan is necessary to shift that dynamic and put a higher cost on the terrorist network to conduct IED operations. “They are too smart and they have got it figured out. We have got to close that gap and make it affordable,” Barbero says, or “they are going to price us out of this.”

 

Among the technologies helping to detect the homemade explosives facilities are new sensors — including hyperspectral detectors — fielded on aircraft and satellites. They are able to find targets based on their chemical composition — thus making processing and transfer operations harder to camouflage — as is done with optical sensors.

 

Barbero says the IED problem is not limited to Afghanistan and Iraq, and is an “enduring” threat globally. Thus, the office is planning to release a strategy in January that looks at what long-term capabilities will be needed and what research and development gaps must be addressed.

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11 novembre 2011 5 11 /11 /novembre /2011 18:35

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November 11, 2011 defpro.com

 

From the autumn later this year the Lithuanian Special Operations Task Group Aitvaras will be joined by a Latvian Special Operations Forces (SOF) contingent in the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in the south of Afghanistan upon completion of premission training.

 

This will be the first time when the Lithuanian Special Operations Task Group Aitvaras incorporates contingent of another country.

 

The core of the joint unit is formed by the Lithuanian SOF personnel and will be given under command of a Lithuanian Special Operations Force officer.

 

“Lithuanian troops have been part of the NATO-led ISAF mission in the south of Afghanistan for four years now. Members of the Task Group Aitvaras have been recognised for their professionalism by the allies and as well as by the ISAF leadership. From now on the Latvian Special Forces contingent will join us. We have been cooperating with our neighbour Latvia in the field of defence since 1991 by participating in joint exercises, military projects. The outcomes of our interoperability and long year friendship will be now put on test in combat circumstances, “says the Lithuanian Armed Forces Commander Lt Gen A. Pocius.

 

“Special Operations Forces is one of the most complex military capabilities. I am pleased that we develop this capability together with our neighbours Lithuanians which confirms our professionalism, ability and willingness to cooperate by even more integrating Armed Forces from the Baltic States,” emphasizes Latvian National Armed Forces Commander, Maj. Gen. R. Graube.

 

The decision to deploy a joint Lithuanian-Latvian Special Operations Forces unit as part of the Lithuanian Aitvaras to Afghanistan was made this August under a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding between Lithuanian Chief of Defence Lt Gen Arvydas Pocius and Latvian National Armed Forces Commander Maj Gen Raimonds Graube.

 

“The Memorandum of Understanding is an example of concrete and essential cooperation between the Baltic States as well as a significant contribution to strengthening and developing of common defence capabilities of the Baltic States and NATO,” points out the Lithuanian Chief of Defence Gen A. Pocius. According to him, the ongoing bilateral cooperation is the most evident proof of confidence between the military of the both countries.

 

The Memorandum of Understanding which was signed in August earlier this year between the Lithuanian and Latvian Defence Ministries sets out the arrangements, general responsibilities, principles and procedures of the participation of the Latvian SOF contingent in ISAF as part of the Lithuanian SOF Task group Aitvaras.

 

This example of cooperation between the Lithuanian and Latvian SOF also serves to endorse agreements adopted by the Baltic defence ministers’ meetings on seeking closer cooperation in defence sector and acting together thus ensuring visibility of joint activity and benefit of joint projects in solving security challenges and issues at global and regional level.

 

Personnel of the Lithuanian Special Operations Task Group Aitvaras have been a part of NATO ISAF operation in the south of Afghanistan since 2007. While on the mission the Task Group Aitvaras render military assistance to the Afghanistan military force, organise and conduct seminars and military training to the Afghanistan national police, and carry out other tasks.

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11 novembre 2011 5 11 /11 /novembre /2011 08:15

Germany.svg

 

10 Nov 2011 DefenseNews AFP

 

BERLIN - Germany is planning a major cut in its military forces in Afghanistan next year, according to a government document seen by AFP on Nov. 10.

 

Under the plan, the current force, up to 5,350-strong, will be reduced to 4,900 in February, with a further 500 soldiers leaving the country by early 2013.

 

The plan was outlined by German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere and Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in a letter to parliamentary groups, obtained by AFP.

 

Behind the decision, it said, was the "current and forecasted security situation", as well as the state of training of Afghan security forces. Germany, which has the third biggest force in Afghanistan behind the United States and Britain, said at the start of the year that it aimed to begin pulling its military forces out, eyeing 2014 for complete withdrawal.

 

Polls have shown the mission, the first major Bundeswehr deployment outside of Europe since World War II, has been consistently unpopular in the country.

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9 novembre 2011 3 09 /11 /novembre /2011 17:40

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/89/Forward_Operating_Base_Logar%2C_Afghanistan.jpg/800px-Forward_Operating_Base_Logar%2C_Afghanistan.jpg

photo US Army

 

HOUSTON, Nov. 8 (UPI)

 

KBR was awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to serve as a contingency electrical power generation contractor in Afghanistan.

 

Under the award, KBR will provide electrical power generation in support of U.S. military operations at forward operating bases.

 

The award is a multiple award task order and KBR will bid individual task orders on a competitive basis.

 

The overall contact has a ceiling value of $490 million over five years. The performance contracts are awarded as indefinite-delivery/Indefinite-quantity contracts with one base year and four option years.

 

KBR's immediate customer will be the USACE Philadelphia District, which will administer the contract. The field customer is the U.S. Army Central Command.

 

"KBR is pleased to further our service to the U.S. government in Afghanistan as a provider of electrical power for our military troops," said Mark Williams, group president, Infrastructure, Government and Power. "We have provided a range of support services, including electrical power, to the U.S. military in Afghanistan continuously since 2002."

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9 novembre 2011 3 09 /11 /novembre /2011 13:40

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Nov 9, 2011 ASDNews By Audra Calloway, AMC - Source US Army

 

Picatinny Arsenal, N.J. - Picatinny Arsenal is helping the Afghan National Army develop their indirect fire capability to bolster self-defense.

 

Picatinny, in conjunction with the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, will support the acquisition of 194 D30, 122mm Howitzers for the Afghan National Army.

 

In addition to supporting the acquisition of the howitzers, the Program Executive Office Ammunition, or PEO Ammo, has also helped establish a training and mentoring program at the Central Work Shop in Kabul, Afghanistan. At the CWS, mentors/instructors are teaching an Afghan work force how to properly overhaul, repair and maintain the weapons.

 

To accomplish this mission, PEO Ammo has enlisted the support of the Project Manager for Towed Artillery Systems, known as PM TAS, and subject matter experts in the areas of optical fire control, canon, quality assurance and weapon systems from the Armament Research Development & Engineering Center, or ARDEC.

 

To date, this team has successfully delivered 85 of the required 194 howitzers.

 

"This program supports our country's strategy of exiting Afghanistan," said Keith Gooding, program manager, Towed Artillery Systems. "Part of that exit strategy is helping the Afghans become self-sufficient so they can support and defend themselves."

 

"We're training the Afghan army to use the artillery properly and we're giving them the weapons to fulfill their artillery mission," Gooding said. "The idea is to leave them in a position that they're able to sustain themselves when we're gone, so they can stand on their own once American and NATO troops leave the country."

 

Afghans are familiar with the D30 Howitzer capability, said Ray Espinosa, the ARDEC Project Officer for the D30 Howitzer Program.

 

The D30 was developed by the Soviets in the 1960s and is still the most widely used howitzer in the world today.

 

The Soviets brought the D30 to Afghanistan when they occupied the country in the 1980s. Even though the Soviet Army eventually left, their howitzers remained behind.

 

"The Afghans have been using them ever since, but have not had the resources or training to maintain them, so the howitzers have deteriorated through the years," Espinosa said.

 

HELP FROM FOREIGN PARTNERS

 

Picatinny's PM TAS has been tasked with procuring the D30s, overseeing the refurbishing of the howitzers, inspecting them to ensure they are operable and then delivering them to troops in Afghanistan.

 

To achieve this, PM TAS and ARDEC employees are working closely with Eastern European countries that are familiar with and have access to D30s.

 

So far PM TAS has procured and delivered 44 D-30 howitzers from the Ukraine, initiated the procurement of 60 weapons from Bosnia i Herzegovina and helped the Afghan National Army refurbish 17 weapons in their Central Work Shop.

 

The Bosnia i Herzegovina government donated the 60 howitzers to the program.

 

"Bosnia has a surplus of weapons and it costs them money to maintain these weapons because they have to store them and make sure they're secure," Espinosa said. "They donated 60 howitzers whose conditions range from lightly worn to heavily used. So we decided to put the howitzers through a refurbishing program before we turned them over to the Afghan National Army," to ensure consistent quality throughout the fleet.

 

That refurbishing is being done in Bosnia i Herzegovina with the Bosnia i Herzegovina company UNIS Group serving as the prime contractor that oversees three component factories also within country.

 

The three factories disassemble the weapons, then refurbish and reassemble the howitzers. If they pass a final inspection conducted by ARDEC employees, they are sent to the Afghan National Army.

 

The D30 team saved around $7 million refurbishing the howitzers from Bosnia i Herzegovina.

 

"We had initial estimates of $12 million, but by contracting directly with the BiH firm, we were able to bring that down to about $5.4 million," Gooding said. "So we saved approximately $7 million by going directly to the firm in BiH."

 

To mark the first delivery of eight howitzers from Bosnia i Herzegovina, the Bosnia i Herzegovina government held a ceremony at the Sarajevo Airport on July 25 to celebrate the first shipment of howitzers to Afghanistan.

 

"Today is an important day for military cooperation and partnership," said Patrick S. Moon, the U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia i Herzegovina. "We stand together, as NATO allies and partner nations, in assisting the government of Afghanistan to build its security capabilities."

 

"I am proud to be here as the first shipment of 60 D30 Howitzers -- donated by the government of Bosnia i Herzegovina and refurbished by the U.S. government -- is sent to the Afghan National Army. The government of Bosnia i Herzegovina's donation assists Afghanistan to build a modern and well-equipped army capable of ensuring a safe and secure environment for all Afghan citizens."

 

Gooding said another benefit that has resulted from the D30 program is that the refurbishing contract is helping Bosnia financially recover from its civil war in the 1990s.

 

"It's amazing to go to BiH and see the remnants of the war everywhere," he said. "They're great people to work with and have a strong work ethic, but they're still trying to rebuild and get their economy going again."

 

PM TAS began delivering the Bosnia i Herzegovina howitzers to the ANA in July, and thus far, 24 have been delivered.

 

The D30 deliveries will continue over the next three months, with all 104 foreign sourced howitzers expected to be in Afghanistan by December.

 

In addition, the Afghanistan refurbishing and training facility has been established and the Afghans are showing progress in learning and refurbishing the guns, said Gooding. To date, 17 howitzers have gone through an overhaul process at the CWS and passed final inspection.

 

In addition to overseeing the D30 howitzer program, PEO Ammunition's Project Manager Maneuver Ammunition Systems oversees the Non-Standard Ammunition Program.

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9 novembre 2011 3 09 /11 /novembre /2011 12:55

USAF logo

 

8 November 2011 airforce-technology.com

 

The US Air Base at Manas International airport in Kyrgyzstan has been asked to close when the lease expires in 2014, Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambayev revealed.

 

Agence France-Presse has quoted the president as saying: "Our country will honour all its international agreements, but we have warned the US embassy that they will have to close the base in 2014."

 

Atambayev has asked for the base closure due to fear of retaliatory strikes by a country hostile to the US.

 

The air base has been used to support operations in Afghanistan since 2001.

 

Kyrgyzstan is the only country in the world to host both US and Russian military bases.

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9 novembre 2011 3 09 /11 /novembre /2011 08:15

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SAN DIEGO, Nov. 8, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)

 

Northrop Grumman Corporation's Fire Scout unmanned helicopter has improved ground commanders' ability to see potential threats and increase fighting effectiveness in Afghanistan – prompting the U.S. Navy to extend the system's service through most of next year.

 

A team of U.S. Navy sailors and Northrop Grumman employees began their mission in May to gather 300 hours per month of full-motion video surveillance, and deliver it in real time to ground forces.

 

"After six months of solid performance, our team has established itself as the go-to asset for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support for northern Afghanistan," said George Vardoulakis, vice president for tactical unmanned system with Northrop Grumman.

 

Northrop Grumman will operate and maintain the Fire Scout systems through October 2012 under an $18.65 million contract awarded to the company Sept. 28 by Naval Air Systems Command.

 

"We are providing a level of situational awareness many soldiers in the field have never experienced," said Rick Pagel, Fire Scout's operations lead for Northrop Grumman. "In the first five months we surpassed 1,500 hours with over 400 flights. Since Fire Scout doesn't require a runway, we are conveniently nearby and arrive on station quickly."

 

Fire Scout features a modular architecture that accommodates a variety of electro-optical, infrared and communications payloads. These payloads provide ground- and ship-based commanders with high levels of situational awareness and precision targeting support.

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9 novembre 2011 3 09 /11 /novembre /2011 07:00

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November 8, 2011 defpro.com

 

Soldiers from 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards have survived a strike by a large improvised explosive device (IED) in Afghanistan while driving in their upgraded Scimitar Mk2 vehicle.

 

The three soldiers of the Welsh Cavalry were on a routine patrol in Nahr-e Saraj when their Scimitar Mk2 was engulfed in an explosion. All three soldiers walked away from the incident unharmed.

 

Vehicle commander Lieutenant Peter Gordon-Finlayson said the explosion stunned the crew for a few moments before their training took over, adding: "It felt like a car crash, and it took me a few moments to take it all in. But the training soon kicked in for all of us.

 

"After checking that I and the crew were unharmed it only took about 30 seconds for the jokes and banter to start, which helped to alleviate the stress of what had just happened.

 

"But I've got to say that all credit must go to the Scimitar. It really is thanks to the vehicle that we all walked away without a scratch.

 

"The Taliban are afraid of the Scimitar 2, and are too afraid to take us on head-to-head. When we arrive in an area the insurgents tend to leave."

 

"I've got to say that all credit must go to the Scimitar. It really is thanks to the vehicle that we all walked away without a scratch."

Lieutenant Peter Gordon-Finlayson

 

The three soldiers are members of B Squadron of the Queen's Dragoon Guards - the regiment's second deployment to Afghanistan.

 

Lance Corporal James Hatton is the Scimitar's gunner. He said: "After that experience the regiment's confidence in the new fleet has really grown. I'm looking forward to getting back onto the ground with the rest of the troop.

 

"I was also very impressed with the speed of the recovery crew in isolating the area and recovering the vehicle. It's a big thank you from our crew to them."

 

Trooper Robert Griffiths, the Scimitar's driver, said the crew were in high spirits on returning to camp, but appreciated that their survival was due to the vehicle, which has been in service for just over two months. He said:

 

"I'm massively impressed with the amount of protection the upgraded armour provided. It was obviously a shock, but I've never had such a buzz in my life."

 

The Scimitar Mark 2 combat vehicle is one of five enhanced Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) ([CVR(T)] types that began service in Helmand recently.

 

BAE Systems upgraded the armour on all five vehicles - Scimitar, Spartan, Samson, Sultan and Samaritan - through an urgent operational requirement process worth around £30m.

 

As part of the contract, the vehicles were rehulled to give better mine-blast protection for troops, and improved armour was added for enhanced resistance to blasts and ballistics, as well as new mine-blast protection seating in every position in every variant. Other enhancements include repositioned foot controls and a revamped fuel system.

 

Scimitar Mark 2 builds on a number of upgrades that have previously been made to the CVR(T), which address the problems experienced while operating in the harsh Afghan environment. These previous upgrades have included improved power output, new gearboxes and transmissions, air-conditioning, improved communications, air filters and night-vision systems.

 

http://www.armyrecognition.com/images/stories/europe/united_kingdom/light_armoured/cvrt_scimitar_mark_2/pictures/Scimitar_Mark_2_CVRT_comabt_vehicle_reconnaissance_tracked_United_Kingdom_British_army_001.jpg

source armyrecognition.com

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8 novembre 2011 2 08 /11 /novembre /2011 17:55

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08/11/2011 Sources : EMA

 

Le 1er  novembre 2011, le général de Bavinchove, commandant le Corps Européen, a pris les fonctions de chef d’état-major de la Force internationale d’assistance à la sécurité (ISAF), commandée par le général américain John Allen.

 

Il succède au général de corps d’armée Gilles Fugier, qui achève ainsi une mission de 15 mois.

 

Le Corps Européen sera déployé à Kaboul de janvier 2012 à janvier 2013. Cette période sera marquée par le transfert de responsabilité vers les forces de sécurité afghanes, le début du retrait graduel des forces de la coalition, la réorganisation des structures de commandement et du déploiement opérationnel des unités de combat

 

Le général de Bavinchove est désormais le Senior National Representative (SNR) des éléments français déployés en Afghanistan.

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8 novembre 2011 2 08 /11 /novembre /2011 08:05

http://www.defense.gouv.fr/var/dicod/storage/images/base-de-medias/images/operations/afghanistan/111107-afghanistan-forces-de-securite-afghanes-et-unites-de-raptor-controlent-l-axe-vermont/forces-de-securite-afghanes-et-unites-de-raptor-controlent-l-axe-vermont-2/1441254-3-fre-FR/forces-de-securite-afghanes-et-unites-de-raptor-controlent-l-axe-vermont-2.jpg 

 

07/11/2011 Sources : EMA

 

Le 02 novembre 2011, les forces de sécurité afghanes ont conduit une opération de sécurisation et de contrôle de l’axe Vermont, dans la province de Kapisa.

 

Cette action avait pour objectif de permettre la libre circulation des « Condor Circle », nom de code des opérations de protection des convois logistiques franco-afghans, qui ravitaillent les bases militaires de Nijrab et de Tagab depuis Kaboul. Longs de plusieurs kilomètres, ces convois, sont régulièrement la cible des insurgés. Leur passage nécessite la création d’un « tube sécuritaire » parfaitement coordonné entre les forces de sécurité afghanes (ANSF) et la Task Force  La  Fayette . Au-delà de leur aspect logistique, ces opérations participent pleinement au contrôle de l’axe Vermont et à l’appropriation de cette mission par les ANSF.

 

C’est donc en étroite coordination avec les forces françaises que les soldats des kandaks  (bataillon de l’armée nationale afghane) 31 et 33 du 201e corps de l’armée nationale afghane (ANA) ont sécurisé l’axe et ses abords le 2 novembre. Dans le même temps, la police afghane conseillée par les équipes POMLT (Police Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team) avait mis en place des points de contrôle le long de l’axe. Les policiers ont également mené une opération civilo-militaire lors des contrôles. Ils ont distribués à la population des postes radio,  afin de leur permettre d’avoir accès aux programmes locaux.

 

Ce dispositif était renforcé par les appuis français, qui assuraient l’ouverture de l’itinéraire avec le DOIP (détachement d’ouverture d’itinéraire piégé) et participaient à la sécurisation du convoi. Enfin, des moyens aériens ont été engagés, en mesure d’intervenir au profit des troupes au sol.

 

La réactivité de l’armée afghane lors de cette opération a permis de repousser une attaque insurgée au nord de Tagab. Lors de cet accrochage, le kandak  31 a promptement riposté avec ses chars et dissuadé les insurgés de développer leur action.

 

L’axe Vermont, qui traverse la Kapisa du nord au sud, est d’une importance majeure pour la province. Son contrôle par les forces de sécurité afghanes et l’assurance de la libre circulation entre Mahmoud E Raqi et Tagab est un progrès significatif et symbolique pour la province.

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7 novembre 2011 1 07 /11 /novembre /2011 17:45

UK MOD

 

November 7, 2011 defpro.com

 

Having helped pave the way for vital aircraft strikes against Colonel Gaddafi's forces in Libya, personnel from 857 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) are now preparing to return to Afghanistan.

 

The crews from Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Culdrose in Cornwall will perform the similar role of 'preparing the battlespace' for joint forces in Afghanistan as they have just done in Libya.

 

857 NAS touched down at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall in September 2011, after four months away flying over Libya in support of NATO operations enforcing United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973. See Related News for more on this.

 

The squadron will soon return to Afghanistan to relieve sister squadron 854 NAS for another tour of duty on the front line.

 

They are now training for the environmental and operational conditions they will face on this land-based deployment, building on their previous experience flying in the desert over very hostile territory.

 

Commanding Officer of RNAS Culdrose, Captain Toby Williamson, is very proud of his Culdrose-based team and how personnel are coping with the operational tempo. He said:

 

"There is no let up for the Sea King Force. As soon as the fighting stopped in Libya, the Sea Kings from Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose were already preparing to return to Afghanistan.

 

"They can be immensely proud of their involvement in Operation ELLAMY because their hard work has contributed to the liberty of the Libyan people.

 

"However, now the team must turn their attention to another war zone and apply their expertise to surveillance activities across the land in Afghanistan.

 

"Here our Sea King squadrons continue to make a real difference. Since 2009 they have proved to be essential in the ongoing fight against the insurgents, enabling the discovery of significant amounts of IED-making equipment, arms and drugs.

 

"857 and 854 Naval Air Squadrons continue to perform admirably against a variety of conditions, from land and sea. Such is the nature of the Royal Navy's flying force; we are agile, versatile and making a difference."

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6 novembre 2011 7 06 /11 /novembre /2011 12:55

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/media/02/00/642880422.jpg

 

06.11.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Parmi les contrats annoncés le 3 novembre par le Pentagone, six ont été passés par le Transportation Command et concernent la location d'hélicoptères à des prestataires civils (parmi eux AAR Airlift dont les Puma volent déjà au profit du Military Sealift Command. Photo US Navy) pour des prestations de transport de personnel et de fret, en Afghanistan.

Montant total de ces contrats : plus de 418 millions de dollars, pour une année (lire ci-dessous). L'annonce du Pentagone ne stipule pas le nombre d'appareils mis en oeuvre.

 

Les sociétés sont connues puisqu'elles opèrent déjà en Afghanistan. Mais le volume de ces contrats montre bien que le recours à des prestataires civils est incontournable tant la pénurie d'hélicoptères de transport est évidente sur ce théâtre (comme sur d'autres, d'ailleurs). Parmi les prestataires retenus figure Columbia Helicopters dont les Chinook pourraient être utilisés pour le transport (hors opérations) des troupes françaises.

 

Vertical de Aviacion, Ltd., Bogota, Columbia, is being awarded a $145,840,994 option year modification for rotary wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance, and supervision necessary to perform passenger and cargo air transportation services.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan, and the option will start Nov. 1, 2011, to be completed by Oct. 31, 2012.  This contract was a competitive acquisition.  U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity (HTC711-10-D-R027).
AAR Airlift Group, Inc., Palm Bay, Fla., is being awarded a $99,369,772 option year modification for rotary wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance, and supervision necessary to perform passenger and cargo air transportation services.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan, and the option will start Nov. 1, 2011, to be completed by Oct. 31, 2012.  This contract was a competitive acquisition.  U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity (HTC711-10-D-R026).
Canadian Commercial Corp./Canadian Helicopters, Ltd., Ottawa, Canada, is being awarded a $65,873,112 option year modification for rotary wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance, and supervision necessary to perform passenger and cargo air transportation services.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan, and the option will start Nov. 1, 2011, to be completed by Oct. 31, 2012.  This contract was a competitive acquisition.  U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity (HTC711-10-D-R025).
Columbia Helicopters, Inc., Portland, Ore., is being awarded a $54,670,930 option year modification for rotary wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance, and supervision necessary to perform passenger and cargo air transportation services.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan, and the option will start Nov. 1, 2011, to be completed by Oct. 31, 2012.  This contract was a competitive acquisition.  U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity (HTC711-11-D-R021).
Construction Helicopters, Inc., Howell, Mich., is being awarded a $29,254,456 option year modification for rotary wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance, and supervision necessary to perform passenger and cargo air transportation services.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan, and the option will start Nov. 1, 2011, to be completed by Oct. 31, 2012.  This contract was a competitive acquisition.  U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity (HTC711-11-D-R022).
Evergreen Helicopters, Inc., McMinnville, Ore., is being awarded a $22,790,000 option year modification for rotary wing aircraft, personnel, equipment, tools, material, maintenance, and supervision necessary to perform passenger and cargo air transportation services.  Work will be performed in Afghanistan, and the option will start Nov. 1, 2011, to be completed by Oct. 31, 2012.  This contract was a competitive acquisition.  U.S. Transportation Command, Directorate of Acquisition, Scott Air Force Base, Ill., is the contracting activity (HTC711-10-D-R028).

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5 novembre 2011 6 05 /11 /novembre /2011 12:30

Afghanistan.svg.png

 

2011-11-03 cri

 

Le porte-parole du ministère de la défense afghan a déclaré le 2 novembre que la deuxième étape de transmission de la responsabilité de la défense de la main de l'ISAF aux troupes de sécurité nationales afghanes aurait lieu bientôt. Mais ce porte-parole n'a pas donné plus de détails sur la date exacte de cette passation.

 

Pour l'instant, le nombre de personnes de l'ISAF dépasse 140 mille. Selon le plan initial de la défense, la transmission de la responsabilité de la sécurité de l'OTAN à l'Afghanistan devait avoir lieu fin 2014.

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3 novembre 2011 4 03 /11 /novembre /2011 12:55

http://www.defence-update.net/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/mc-12-afghanistan.jpg

photio USAF - source defence-update.net

 

November 3, 2011 Capt. Korry Leverett / 455th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs / AFNS – defpro.com

 

BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan | U.S. Airmen from the 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron here achieved three major milestones in the month of October supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

The squadron, which operates the MC-12 Liberty, surpassed 10,000 sorties flown, 50,000 flight hours and supported ground operations that led to the capture or elimination of more than 4,000 targets.

 

"The program was brought to Bagram (Airfield) in June 2009 and in less than two years with roughly two dozen airplanes we've been able to fly 10,000 sorties and 50,000 flying hours," said Lt. Col. James Thompson, the 4th ERS commander. "It's been amazing. According to Headquarters Air Force, we are the No. 1 sortie rate per manned aircraft in the Air Force."

 

In April 2008, then Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates established a Defense Department-wide Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Task Force to identify and recommend solutions for increased ISR assets in the Central Command area of responsibility. Gates tasked Air Force officials July 1, 2008, to acquire 37 C-12 aircraft to augment remotely piloted aircraft.

 

"If you take a look at the start of the MC-12 Liberty program, it was created in about six months," Thompson said. "Because of the speed at which this platform was brought to the fight, the program was named in honor of the Liberty Ships, which were mass produced during World War II."

 

According to Thompson, the MC-12 is the workhorse of the Air Force. Aircrews hit the maximum flying hours authorized every month, he said. Airmen from the 4th ERS work seven days a week, with virtually no days off for six months.

 

Not only do the Airmen work every, day but so do the aircraft. An F-16 Fighting Falcon or F-15E Strike Eagle is typically retired when it hits approximately 8,000 flying hours. In the two years since the program was created more than 4,000 hours have been put on the MC-12s.

 

To maintain proficiency of the pilots and crews during combat operations, Thompson instituted a simple process he said he learned as an air officer commanding at the United States Air Force Academy.

 

"The way we do it is to have the seniors teach the freshmen," Thompson said. "The first month your job is to study. The second through fifth months your role is to work, and the final month is to teach the new folks. By making it a cyclical process, it only continues to improve and get better."

 

With this basic program in place, the squadron has doubled the number of sorties flown since Thompson arrived in November 2010, with the same number of aircraft, and increased flight times by 20 percent. Combined with new tactics and procedures, the unit members have more than doubled the amount of support provided to troops on the ground.

 

"Ours is but a small piece in the puzzle," Thompson said. "This is an 100 percent support asset, and our motto is the customer is always right. We've received countless feedback -- things like 'We don't want to operate without you,' or 'You are a godsend.'"

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3 novembre 2011 4 03 /11 /novembre /2011 12:40

http://www.defpro.com/data/gfx/news/02dd08eb0733cec43316f4ed9de8f550bfb2f285_big.jpg

 

Afghan aircrews train on their Mil Mi-17 helicopters.

 

November 3, 2011 Lisa Daniel / American Forces Press Service – defpro.com

 

WASHINGTON | Afghanistan’s military retains the vestiges of a modern air force, and its skilled and eager airmen have NATO trainers encouraged as they build up the force, the commander of NATO Air Training Command Afghanistan said Nov. 2.

 

The Afghanistan air force has about 5,000 of its 8,000-member goal, and 66 of 145 aircraft NATO plans to provide it, U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Timothy Ray said during a meeting with reporters at the State Department’s Foreign Press Center here.

 

“Back in the 1970s and ’80s, they actually had a very modern air force,” Ray said. The force had mostly Russian-made aircraft, which were new then, but either were lost in later combat or weren’t maintained after the country fell to the Taliban, he said.

 

“But I can tell you that we are building on that expertise and bringing in a young force behind them,” Ray said.

 

So far, NATO has trained 12 of at least 70 air crews it plans for the force “well past 2014,” when coalition forces are to turn over security control to the Afghans, the general said. “There will be an enduring relationship between the United States, NATO and Afghanistan,” he said. “We’re not going to just take everything out. We’re going to stay there and help them train.”

 

While there are years to go in training, Ray said, some of the Afghan airmen are exceptional. “I’ve flown with the Afghans. I’ve been in the cockpit with them,” he said. “I’ve seen them in action. And I can tell you, they are very good.

 

“Some of ones I’ve flown with have done a brilliant job,” he continued. “I’ve actually seen them correct NATO instructors. I’ve seen them explain things in the cockpit that I would expect of our own forces. There’s growth going on there, and there’s talent to build on.”

 

About 80 Afghan airmen are in pilot training in the United Arab Emirates, at least 10 are being trained in the United States, and four others are in the Czech Republic, Ray said. Afghanistan will start its own pilot training in December, which will include its first female air force pilot. More are learning English – the international language for aviators -- as part of the pipeline for becoming a pilot, he said.

 

The coalition is teaching Afghan forces to train their own, and to be stewards of their vehicles, aircraft and equipment, Ray said, and doing it in ways familiar to the Afghans. Most of the aircraft being bought for the Afghans are Russian made, such as Mi-17 helicopters, and Czech Republic forces have taken the lead in maintenance training, he said.

 

NATO is focused on leader training and literacy, Ray said. One of the biggest hurdles to the Afghan air force is that 85 percent of its recruits are illiterate and innumerate, he said.

 

“When you have Afghan police who can’t read a passport, or can’t read the paperwork he’s signing; he doesn’t know how much money he’s being paid,” Ray said. “When you tell an Afghan soldier to put four bullets in his gun, and he doesn’t understand that, [it’s a problem]. … It’s an absolute game changer when you teach them to read and write.”

 

The NATO trainers are getting the recruits to third-grade literacy, “and that’s a fundamental difference in the culture of Afghanistan,” he said.

 

“The Taliban did absolutely nothing for this country,” he added. Now, we have over 8 million kids in school. So, we’re raising the overall level of the Afghanistan people in a meaningful and lasting way.”

 

Thirty-seven NATO and partner nations are involved in building Afghan security forces, and more countries send money, Ray said.

 

The air force buildup is part of the command’s goal to grow Afghan forces – army, air force and national police – from about 200,000 currently to 352,000. The NATO goal would put the army at 187,000, and the police at 157,000 to last well past 2014, when the coalition plans to turn over all of Afghanistan’s security to its own forces, Ray said.

 

Afghan security forces are in control of security for 25 percent of the country’s population, he said, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai is expected to announce soon the transition of more areas to fall under Afghan security.

 

NATO trainers also are seeing much improvement in army and police forces, Ray said. The army is doing “a much better job embedding with our coalition partners,” and the national police “have done an amazing turnaround and are far more capable” than two years ago when, he acknowledged, they were “a questionable crowd.”

 

The command raised police pay, extended training from six to eight weeks, and started human rights training, Ray said. The police are responding more on their own now, including in recent severe flooding in the northeast, and “showing people that the Afghan government is there for them,” he said.

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3 novembre 2011 4 03 /11 /novembre /2011 12:35

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5a/AMX-10RC_in_Afghanistan.jpg

photo US DoD

 

02.11.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Eh bien non, le président Karzaï n'a pas dévoilé à Istanbul, comme annoncé précédemment (cliquer ici pour lire mon post du 27 octobre), la liste des districts et provinces afghans qui figureront dans la deuxième tranche du processus de transition. Déception dans les rangs politiques et militaires français qui attendaient l'annonce officielle du transfert total de la province de Kaboul et donc du district de Surobi tenu par les soldats français de la brigade La Fayette.

 

Faudra-t-il attendre le 5 décembre et le sommet de Bonn? Karzaï et ses proches n'auraient-ils pas fini de peaufiner les détails dont parlait un haut fonctionnaire afghan la semaine dernière? Qui sait?

 

Le sujet, en tout cas, a été discuté par les chefs d'Etat présents à Istanbul (c'est confirmé par un communiqué du Département d'Etat américain) qui ont avalisé le plan de transfert. Finalement, tout va bien. Il ne reste plus qu'à communiquer.

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28 octobre 2011 5 28 /10 /octobre /2011 07:55

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/media/02/00/1953512340.jpg

 

28.10.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Ce n'est pas demain, ni même après-demain que la France évacuera la FOB Tora (voir photo ci-dessus) mais le président afghan pourrait officiellement annoncer le 2 novembre, lors d'une conférence à Istanbul, la liste des 17 nouvelles provinces dont la sécurité va être transférée aux forces afghanes. En juillet, le régime afghan avait annoncé le transfert de sept provinces.

 

Abdul Khalik Faradhi, le directeur général du Département des Affaires locales afghanes, a donné quelques précisions, tout en ajoutant que les détails étaient encore à finaliser.

 

Parmi les provices concernées, citons le Helmand, Nimroz, Ghor, Heart, Day Kundi, Balkh, Parwan, Takhar, Bagdhis, Sar-e-Pul, Samangan, Badakhshan, Ghazni, Wardak, Laghman, Nangarhar et .... Kabul. Cette dernière province a déjà été transférée mais seulement en partie. Il ne reste que le district de Surobi tenu par les forces françaises et actuellement (et pour peu de temps) le BG 15-2.

 

C'est donc quasiment officiel : les Afghans vont se charger de la sécurité dans le district. A terme (à horizon 6/9 mois), la présence française sera nulle dans cette partie de l'Afghanistan et la FOB Tora certainement confiée à l'ANA.

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28 octobre 2011 5 28 /10 /octobre /2011 07:35

http://www.aviationweek.com/media/images/defense_images/Wheels/Wiesel1-Rheinmetall.jpg

 

Photo: Rheinmetall

 

Oct 27, 2011 By Nicholas Fiorenza - defense technology international

 

Berlin - The German military is deploying to Afghanistan the German Route Clearing Package, which is designed to detect mines and improvised explosive devices (IED) along convoy routes.

 

Each system consists of four mobile platforms: a Wiesel 1 remote-control detection vehicle (RCDV) to locate explosive devices; Fuchs command-and-control vehicle (CCV); Mini Minewolf disposal vehicle; and MAN Multi FSA logistics vehicle for transport. The system conducts remote-control reconnaissance of exposed or buried IEDs and undetonated explosive devices; marks the positions of identified objects, and verifies them; disposes of, neutralizes or destroys explosive devices; and documents missions—all while providing maximum protection for the crew.

 

The BWB, Germany’s federal agency for defense technology and procurement, earlier selected Rheinmetall to supply seven systems by year-end.

 

The RCDV has a built-in dual sensor with ground-penetrating radar and metal detector, the only system integrating both, says Harald Westermann, managing director of Rheinmetall Land Systems, who describes this as a “key feature.” The dual sensor detects the position of buried and exposed mines and IEDs through changes in the density of the ground. The combined evaluation of different sensor data pinpoints objects. Storing the characteristics of planted explosives in an electronic library increases the speed and precision of detection. The detection system is in the rear of the vehicle, so the RCDV moves in reverse when in the remote-control mode, guided by an operator inside the Fuchs CCV. In safer areas, a driver sits in the RCDV and operates it.

 

The remotely operated Mini MineWolf, from MineWolf Systems AG, neutralizes unexploded ordnance. The vehicle can be equipped with a tiller or flail for clearing antipersonnel and medium antitank mines, and it withstands blasts from these as well as fragmentation mines. It provides continuous ground penetration to 25 cm (9.8 in.) and removes vegetation.

 

The CCV is a Fuchs 1A8 armored personnel carrier with two independent operator-control stations—one for the remote operation of the RCDV and Mini MineWolf and the other for evaluating signals from the RCDV’s dual sensor. The crew on board the Fuchs command vehicle uses an integrated video system to continuously monitor operations.

 

Two Mini MineWolf systems have been delivered to the German military for training and are scheduled to go to Afghanistan this month, where they will be used as an interim solution with the Wiesel RCDV.

 

Westermann expects this to be followed by a contract in 2012 for the Fuchs 1A8 KAI reconnaissance and identification vehicle, equipped with a manipulator arm developed by Rheinmetall for bomb disposal. The arm has an operating reach of more than 10 meters (33 ft.) and is able to pick up heavy objects at a safe distance. At the end of the manipulator arm is a dual ground-penetrating radar and electromagnetic induction sensor. Manipulation of the stabilized arm is by a center tool control.

 

The KAI excavates objects through soil or paved roads with an air spade for visual inspection by camera and verification of whether they are mines, IEDs or false alarms. Mines and IEDs can be neutralized or destroyed by being pulled out of the ground with an explosive disposal charge or by mechanical activation of the fuze.

 

The KAI is also equipped with a multitool consisting of a gripper, ripper teeth and fork.

 

The manipulator can be used for visual inspection of bridges, buildings and canals, as well as for recovering personnel with a rescue platform that carries two soldiers and is stabilized to prevent motion sickness.

 

Westermann says the KAI can mount a high-power microwave and laser.

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26 octobre 2011 3 26 /10 /octobre /2011 12:25

http://cdnpullz.defencetalk.com/wp-content/themes/dtstyle/scripts/timthumb.php?src=http://www.defencetalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/afghan-af-cessna-208b.jpg&w=375&h=245&zc=1

 

October 26th, 2011 By Air Force News Agency– DEFENCE TALK

 

The first of six new Cessna 208Bs to be used for the Afghan air force undergraduate pilot training program arrived at Shindand Air Base recently.

 

With Afghan and coalition leadership in attendance, three new fixed wing follow-on trainers joined the recently arrived Cessna 182 Turbo aircraft as trainers that will be used to train newly selected AAF pilot candidates.

 

According to Shindand officials, the C-208Bs will be used as the advanced trainers for Afghan undergraduate pilot training, initial qualification and upgrade training as well as operational light airlift.

 

The force will also welcome six MD-530 light helicopters that are scheduled for delivery later this year with instructor cadre for the UPT program staffed by coalition and Afghan instructors.

 

Officials in Shindand explained the significance the arrival of the C-208Bs will play on development of the first-ever Afghan flight school.

 

"The arrival of the 208s is the next big step toward establishing Afghan UPT," said Capt. Jon Waller, 444th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron instructor pilot. "Having the advanced trainer on station will give us the opportunity to continue with initial qualification of the rated AAF members here at Shindand, with the goal of having a combined team of USAF and AAF instructors able to teach and fly with the first class in December."

 

Speaking on behalf of the AAF and directly addressing airmen, the AAF commander in Shindand reflected on another historic milestone for the base and mission in western Afghanistan.

 

It is great to see the new aircraft, and it is exciting to see Shindand Air Base finally becoming a functioning air base for pilot training, explained Maj. Gen. Abdul Baqi, AAF commander in Shindand.

 

As the second largest base in Afghanistan, Shindand AB aims to be the "crown jewel" of the AAF explained officials as they look to make the base the centerpiece for all pilot training including a focus on maintenance, language and professional military education.

 

"Many of the students we have already received training years ago before the Taliban took over the country. The challenge is to bring them to current standards, along with training new pilots and crews," said Col. John J. Hokaj, Commander of the 838th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group. "The final goal is that, in three years, the students we train now will be able to train new pilots and crews themselves, and be truly self-sufficient."

 

The first UPT class is slated to begin in December marking the first time in more than 30 years fixed-wing pilots will have been trained within Afghan borders. Upon completion of UPT, students will be fully-rated instrument pilots.

 

The C-208B is an all weather capable aircraft, able to airlift a combination of eight passengers or approximately 4,000 pounds of cargo from austere airfields throughout Afghanistan.

 

Three additional C-208Bs are scheduled to arrive in 10 days and will complete the fleet of 12 training aircraft which will be used for the AAF UPT program officials said.

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26 octobre 2011 3 26 /10 /octobre /2011 11:55

http://lignesdedefense.blogs.ouest-france.fr/media/02/01/1367900565.png

 

26.10.2011 par P. CHAPLEAU Lignes de Défense

 

Global Integrated Security, une filiale US de la firme britannique Global Strategies Group, vient de remporter un joli contrat en Afghanistan. L'information a été diffusée sur le site du Pentagone, à la rubrique "contrat", le 24 octobre. Le montant est conséquent: 480 millions de dollars.

 

La date de fin du contrat, attribué par l'US Army Corps of Engineers, mérite aussi d'être donnée: octobre 2015 (petit rappel: le retrait annoncé d'Afghanistan est prévu pour 2014).

 

Beau contrat pour une société qui a déjà décroché une part du gâteau irakien du Worldwide Protective Services du Département d'Etat (valeur estimée du WPS: 10 milliards de dollars) et qui a annoncé, il y a quelques jours, avoir été retenu pour un contrat de sécurisation d'installations pétrolières à Bassorah. 

 

L'annonce du Pentagone:
Global Integrated Security (USA), Inc., Reston, Va., was awarded a $480,000,000 firm-fixed-price contract. The award will provide for the reconstruction security support services throughout Afghanistan in support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Work will be performed in Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of Oct. 19, 2015. Five bids were solicited, with five bids received. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Winchester, Va., is the contracting activity (W912ER-12-D-0001).


Ultime précision: il s'agit d'un contrat pour des prestations de sécurité dont la nature n'est pas précisée. Vu le donneur d'ordre, il doit s'agir de la PR des équipes d'ingénieurs déployées dans le cadre de la reconstruction de l'Afghanistan.

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26 octobre 2011 3 26 /10 /octobre /2011 05:35

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5d/XM982_Excalibur_inert.jpg

photo US Army

 

TUCSON, Ariz., Oct. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire

 

Marines use Excalibur to limit collateral damage in Afghanistan

 

The U.S. Marine Corps issued an urgent operational need for 1,037 Raytheon Company 155 mm Excalibur extended range, precision-guided artillery projectiles for use in Afghanistan.

 

Successfully fielded in 2007, Excalibur is the revolutionary family of precision projectiles for U.S. Army and Marine Corps artillery. The Marines have significantly increased operational use of Excalibur in the last year, firing as many as 32 rounds in one week. By integrating Excalibur into the regiment combat teams, the Marines have the ability to provide responsive precision artillery fires across their operational zone.

 

"The Marines are using Excalibur as a critical, life-saving capability in Afghanistan," said Lt. Col. Mike Milner, U.S. Army Excalibur product manager. "They have developed tactics to enable its use on demand and as a result, they have been able to conduct essential missions that would otherwise go unengaged."

 

Using GPS precision guidance technology, Excalibur provides accurate, first round, fire-for-effect capability in an urban setting. Excalibur is considered a true precision weapon, impacting at a radial miss distance of 6 meters from the target.

 

"Excalibur can precisely engage a target before close air support is available, and that availability has made the projectile crucial to the success of distributed operations in Afghanistan," said Michelle Lohmeier, vice president of Raytheon Missile Systems' Land Combat product line. "The Marines have clearly embraced the capability, and their lessons learned will enhance future employment of Excalibur to provide even greater benefit to our warfighters."

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